Jacob Tanner Diekman
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
- School Cloud County Community College
- High School Wymore Southern High School
- Debut May 15, 2012
Jake Diekman made it to the big leagues in 2012.
Diekman was picked by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft. The scout was Jerry Lafferty. He made his pro debut with the GCL Phillies and did well enough (1-3, 2.92) to earn a promotion to the Williamsport Crosscutters, where he had a 2-1, 2.25 record. He began 2008 with the Lakewood BlueClaws and was 3-5 with a 5.42 ERA and .310 opponent average. He was demoted back to Williamsport, where he went 1-4 with a 4.40 ERA. He spent 2009 with Lakewood, going 2-0 with two saves and a 4.04 ERA in a new relief role. After a strong 2010 start with the BlueClaws (2-0, 1.90, 30 K in 23 2/3 IP, albeit with 15 walks), he was promoted to the Clearwater Threshers and was 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA in 24 games. He allowed a .187 average for the year with 56 strikeouts in 55 2/3 IP but also with 38 walks. He played in the Arizona Fall League.
The Nebraskan was 0-1 with 3 saves and a 3.05 ERA for the 2011 Reading Phillies, holding lefties to a .099 average (9 hits in 91 at-bats) and whiffing 83 in 65 innings. He tied Ricky Brooks for 4th in the Eastern League with 53 pitching appearances. He allowed only one earned run and struck out 14 in 11 1/3 IP for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. He opened 2012 with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and was excellent after 13 games (1-0, 5 Sv, 1 R in 15 1/3 IP, 22 K to 3 BB).
Diekman was then called up to the big leagues along with veteran Raúl Valdés; they replaced Joe Savery and Brian Sanches on the Phillies. In his major league debut on May 15, 2012, he relieved Chad Qualls in the top of the 9th with two men in scoring position, two outs and a 3-3 tie, a pressure-filled situation if there ever was one. He came through, striking out fellow rookie Marwin Gonzalez. In the 10th, he retired Jed Lowrie on a fly then whiffed both Jose Altuve and Jordan Schafer. Diekman got the win when Hunter Pence homered in the bottom of the inning. It was his only victory of the season, but he did pitch 32 times in relief for the Phils, with a record of 1-1, 3.95 and 35 K's in 27 1/3 innings. He struggled a bit with his control,. however, as he also issued 20 walks. In 2013, he pitched 45 times out of the bullpen, logging 38 1/3 innings as he was used as lefthanded specialist. He went 1-4 with a 2.58 ERA and struck out 41 hile walking 16, the marked improvement in his walk rate being key to better results.
On September 1, 2014, he was the second of four Phillies pitchers to combine on a 7-0 no-hitter over the Atlanta Braves. He took over for Cole Hamels who had pitched the first six innings and pitched a perfect 7th before handing the ball over to Ken Giles in the 8th, with Jonathan Papelbon completing the feat. He pitched 73 games for the Phillies that season, going 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 71 innings as a set-up man for Papelbon. In 2015, like all Phillies relievers not named Papelbon, he struggled in the first half, and his record was 2-1, 5.15 after 41 games when on July 29th he and Hamels were traded to the Texas Rangers in return for P Matt Harrison and five prospects: Ps Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff and Jake Thompson, C Jorge Alfaro and OF Nick Williams.
- Joe Posnanski: "Diekman's story inspires beyond baseball: Rangers reliever achieves dreams despite battle with colitis", mlb.com, March 2, 2017.